Performing Language, Animating Poetry: Kinetic Text in Experimental Cinema

Performing Language, Animating Poetry: Kinetic Text in Experimental Cinema kim knowles l anguage, both written and spoken, is so ubiquitous within the field of experimen tal film practice that singling out a particular thread or trajectory that would allow us to grasp, summarize, or theorize this interdisci plinary tendency at first seems like an insur mountable challenge. And this is even before we are led into the hazy definitions of either "language" or "experimental." Our concern with language in the cinema must first of all be dissociated from the language of cinema (al though the two frequently, and obviously, inter sect, as my discussion of the work of Peter Rose later in this article will demonstrate). When speaking (of) the language of cinema, we are dealing first and foremost with a system of sig nification, a way of reading the screen by break ing down the image into a series of semantic units. Deriving from structuralist semiotics, this association of film with language has long dominated the field of film studies, perhaps overshadowing issues of language within the cinema.1 In commercial cinema, language is, in most cases, subordinated to the image--the "of" and the "in" are thus one and the same. But in experimental, or avantgarde, practice, http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Film and Video University of Illinois Press

Performing Language, Animating Poetry: Kinetic Text in Experimental Cinema

Journal of Film and Video, Volume 67 (1) – Feb 13, 2015

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Publisher
University of Illinois Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
ISSN
1934-6018
Publisher site
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Abstract

kim knowles l anguage, both written and spoken, is so ubiquitous within the field of experimen tal film practice that singling out a particular thread or trajectory that would allow us to grasp, summarize, or theorize this interdisci plinary tendency at first seems like an insur mountable challenge. And this is even before we are led into the hazy definitions of either "language" or "experimental." Our concern with language in the cinema must first of all be dissociated from the language of cinema (al though the two frequently, and obviously, inter sect, as my discussion of the work of Peter Rose later in this article will demonstrate). When speaking (of) the language of cinema, we are dealing first and foremost with a system of sig nification, a way of reading the screen by break ing down the image into a series of semantic units. Deriving from structuralist semiotics, this association of film with language has long dominated the field of film studies, perhaps overshadowing issues of language within the cinema.1 In commercial cinema, language is, in most cases, subordinated to the image--the "of" and the "in" are thus one and the same. But in experimental, or avantgarde, practice,

Journal

Journal of Film and VideoUniversity of Illinois Press

Published: Feb 13, 2015

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